Dear Lazy Media: Tim Cook Did Not “Take On Climate Change Deniers.”

First off, I hate the term “liberal media.” It allows for the left to behave as though the press does not have an inherent left wing bias with respect to reporting. They get to easily dismiss “the liberal media” as nothing but wild eyed conspiracy theories from conservatives.

Does the mainstream media as a whole lean left? Absolutely. Journalists can pretend all they want they’re objective but when nearly 90% of them donate to Democrats, it’s difficult to believe them. It’s not as though they sit around (well, some do) plotting how they are going to be biased. It’s just natural and it comes out in their writing, yet they act surprised when being called out on their nonsense. I prefer to call them lazy or sloppy because that’s really what it’s all about.

A very recent example of this occurred in the wake of an Apple shareholders meeting. A representative of National Center for Public Policy Research, an Apple investor, expressed concern Apple was spending too much on sustainability programs and felt that money should be put to better use in order to increase profitability. How did the media cover this? Let’s take a look:

CNN/Fortune – Apple’s Tim Cook picks a fight with climate change deniers

Mashable – Tim Cook to Climate Change Deniers: Get Out of Apple Stock

Slate – Apple CEO to Global Warming Deniers: We Don’t Want Your Money

Salon – Apple CEO Tim Cook to climate deniers: “Get out of this stock”

ARS Technica – At Apple shareholder’s meeting, Tim Cook tells off climate change deniers

Of course, such tomfoolery is expected from outfits such as Salon as they’ll peddle any left wing trope that comes along. But CNN, Fortune and even ARS Technica should know better. One you get past the headline, the story plays out differently. From the CNN/Fortune article:

A] self-described conservative think tank was pushing a shareholder proposal that would have required Apple to disclose the costs of its sustainability programs and to be more transparent about its participation in “certain trade associations and business organizations promoting the amorphous concept of environmental sustainability”…


During the question and answer session, however, the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook two questions, both of which were in line with the principles espoused in the group’s proposal.


The first question challenged an assertion from Mr. Cook that Apple’s sustainability programs and goals—Apple plans on having 100 percent of its power come from green sources—are good for the bottom line. The representative asked Mr. Cook if that was the case only because of government subsidies on green energy.


Mr. Cook didn’t directly answer that question, but instead focused on the second question: the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.


What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.


“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.


As evidenced by the use of “bloody” in his response—the closest thing to public profanity I’ve ever seen from Mr. Cook–it was clear that he was quite angry. His body language changed, his face contracted, and he spoke in rapid fire sentences compared to the usual metered and controlled way he speaks.


He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

Emphasis mine. Why didn’t they write headlines such as, “Tim Cook Tells Off Investors That Hate The Blind”? It would have been just as accurate as their “climate change deniers” headline. This was a dispute from some investors on how Apple spends it’s money. Clearly, the group feels Apple should spend more money in Apple itself in order to continue increasing profits.

I know. It’s a shock that investors of company stock want said companies to increase profits. The horror.

One could possibly blame in on the whole ‘Upworthy’ phenomenon as it relates to headlines (Hey, we’ve been guilty of it) but this is not an isolated incident. The media does this all the time. You’d think after being called out on it so often they would dispense with the Blanche DuBois fan waving, “Why….what-evah do you mean, suh?” and actually do some real work.

Odds are, they won’t.